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Cricket news - England will try and rub salt in our wounds: David Warner

"We never like losing a semifinal and we are playing at the same venue as well, so that's playing at the back of our mind."

Almost 17 months after he was banned for his controversial role in the ball-tampering saga, David Warner is set to return to Test cricket. The dashing opener is set to lead Australia's charge as they take on traditional rivals England in the latest round of Ashes, cricket's oldest rivalry. Warner spoke exclusively to TOI from Birmingham.


Australia have not beaten England in the Ashes in England since 2001...

We have got a great bunch of boys. We have good classic bowling options and the batters are coming off with some good scores. So, look, we haven't played against the Duke ball for a while. We have used them at home to try and get a little bit of extra practice (with it). And the guys have combated that (Duke ball) quite well at the (Sheffield) Shield level. We are pretty ready.

You beat England 4-0 last time at home in 2017-18. Does that give you any sort of psychological advantage coming into this series?

I think when you beat a team prior to coming over to their shores, you always take some momentum into it, but yet again, these (English) conditions are quite different. The ball swings a lot, and the wickets can be conducive to good seam and swing.

What about that World Cup semifinal defeat to England defeat? Will that be playing on your minds?

We will definitely be more motivated. We never like losing a semifinal and we are playing at the same venue as well, so that's playing at the back of our mind.

England are the world champions now, but it's a different format, isn't it?

Yes, it's a different format. You'd think that they would be coming out with lots of energy and try and obviously knock us off here at home. They would try and rub a bit more salt in (our) wounds and make us go home without winning the World Cup or the Ashes. We know how much pressure they are trying to put us under. Not just with on the field, but off the field as well.

Do you see Ben Stokes as a big factor?

Ben is a world-class player. He's come up leaps and bounds. Credit to him the way he came back, fought hard. Looks like he is hungrier than ever and adds a lot of big strings to their bow.

Are James Anderson and Stuart Broad past their prime?

They are two world-class bowlers, stalwarts. They are great competitors. In these conditions, they are very, very difficult (to play against).

People have compared Jason Roy to you...

If he keeps it simple, he will do very well. A lot of people said that I'd never play Test cricket. But, at the end of the day, if you have got that attacking mindset, the defence takes care of itself. I know that in these conditions it be quite challenging. You're going to have gaps on either sides of the bat and you are going to get beaten by both sides of your bat. But you trust your instincts, your eye and your patience. You've got to keep your cover drives under your nose. You've got to be very, very careful.

Have you set any targets for this series?

Just get one run, at first. And just bat time. I know myself in this format. When I bat time, I can put the team in a good position. So, I've got to just look to bat to the best of my ability and occupy the crease.

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